Spanish Propaganda Floods Florida

In the run-up to the election, Spanish speakers in the battleground state of Florida are being targeted by misinformation campaigns designed to sway their votes. According to Sabrina Rodríguez and Marc Caputo (Politico, Sept. 14, 2020), an onslaught of anti-Biden disinformation “is inundating Spanish-speaking residents of South Florida ahead of election day, clogging their WhatsApp chats, Facebook feeds, and even radio airwaves at a saturation level that threatens to shape the outcome in the nation’s biggest and most closely contested swing state.”
Last month, Aminda Marqués González, executive editor and publisher of the Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald, and Nancy San Martín, managing editor of El Nuevo Herald, apologized to readers over a paid Spanish-language insert which claimed that American Jews support “thieves and arsonists” and compared Black Lives Matter protesters to Nazis. The editors said they were “deeply sorry” for the column, which was posted in an insert in the newspaper called “LIBRE,” and stated they would no longer include the paid Spanish-language supplement, which has included anti-Semitic and racist columns for months. The editors were first informed due to a reader flagging the material.
Some conspiracy theories have also been aired on local radio. Miami’s Actualidad Radio, an AM radio station, interviewed a commentator who said the aim of the Black Lives Matter movement involves “brujería,” or witchcraft, and “a vote for Biden is a vote for that.”
In August, Caracol Radio, another AM radio station, aired a paid program that claimed that if Biden won the election, the U.S. would fall into a dictatorship led by “Jews and Blacks.” Caracol later apologized for the content and said it had banned the commentator from its airwaves.
In an attempt to counter the propaganda, the biggest Democratic super PAC has launched a $6 million Spanish-language ad buy in Florida after Michael Bloomberg pledged $100 million toward the presidential election in the Sunshine State.

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